Archive for Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Council split over whether to sign laws

June 4, 2003

A signature on city ordinances has sparked opposition from two Tonganoxie City Council members.

Council members Velda Roberts and Ron Cranor opposed ordinances signed by Kathy Bard on May 27 because of some confusion involved with her title as city clerk.

Former Mayor John Franiuk named Bard to replace Karen Daniels as city clerk when Daniels retired April 30.

"It is a matter of clarification as to what took place and if the mayor at the time acted properly in making that appointment and what appointment he actually made," Roberts said.

City administrator Shane Krull said that, according to city attorney Mike Crow, Bard is the city clerk until the current mayor, Dave Taylor, makes his appointments.

Taylor, however, said Tuesday that he wasn't sure whether he would appoint Bard.

The mayor also is uncertain whether he'll name a clerk during Monday's council meeting.

"My only problem is right now is that the other mayor made an appointment in the future and I don't know if that is legal to make another appointment for another mayor," Taylor said. "My job is to represent the people, not just a few.

"I want to make sure everything is done above the board -- no back-door politics."

Bard, who also is the assistant city administrator, said Tuesday that her signature as city clerk was legitimate.

"When I attested the mayor's signature as clerk, it was a legal document," Bard said. "I'm not real sure whether they weren't signing because of the words 'city clerk' or my name associated with city clerk."

Roberts said she had no problems with Bard.

"This has nothing to do with Kathy Bard or her position or her work," Roberts said. "I'm not challenging anyone's work position or work they do at all.

"It's a matter of appropriate action."

Roberts also said the opposition didn't delay the action of the council, as the measures still passed with a 3-2 vote.

"It was just a matter of getting it on the record and that was the best way to do it," Roberts said.

Council members Kathy Graveman, Steve Gumm and Emmett Wetta voted in favor of the ordinances.

The split separated the two newest members from the rest of the five-member council, but Roberts doesn't want the situation to hinder the work of the group.

"I realize there are new members and old members working together," Roberts said. "I don't want this to be something that will divide people on the issues. That's not the intent at all."

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